When you think about marketing today, it’s likely that you’re calling to mind images of email newsletters and digital ad campaigns. After all, within the last two decades it’s become increasingly clear that the role of the Internet and the Internet of Things (IoT) to propagate messages is only going to continue to expand and develop. The growing popularity of smart devices and smart appliances at home and at the office, only proves that we’re moving towards total interconnectedness at an accelerated pace.
The relevance of the Internet is readily apparent in marketing. The use of SEO, content marketing, and even IoT-based marketing (using wearable devices for example) has expanded within the last decade and a half. Data is king, and the wealth of information that companies and marketers can get from web-connected smart devices make that clear. But in this article we’d like to take the opposite approach and look at why is it that some companies still turn to traditional methods to complement their digital marketing efforts?
Let’s walk you through some reasons to show you just how effective offline marketing can be if done right…
As society has grown increasingly more connected, digital marketing has become a sort of de facto approach for many companies’ campaigns. It’s not hard to see why— after all, digital marketing is cheap, relatively easy, and highly traceable. But the majority shift to digital advertising, rather than discouraging traditional marketing methods altogether, has in fact opened up more opportunities for companies using traditional marketing to stand out.
The benefits of digital marketing are plenty, but businesses now have the opportunity to maximize these benefits through additional offline techniques. The US Postal Service saw a 25% decrease in mail pieces from 2008 to 2016, which means less competition for businesses using direct mail. Direct mail pieces are memorable, and have some of the highest ROI among all marketing methods.
Turning to options like direct mail may seem counterproductive for many, especially if you’ve shifted most of your company’s products and customer service online. But traditional marketing methods can adapt too, and there are tons of ways to link offline and online strategies.
One of the most popular and effective approaches is through the use of QR codes. With QR codes, customers can simply scan or photograph the code using their smartphones and immediately get redirected to relevant websites or apps. Data from Juniper Research projects that the number of QR code coupons redeemed via mobile devices will reach 5.3 billion by 2022, up from around 1.3 billion in 2017. And with increasing smartphone integration all around the world, it’s clear that QR codes have a bigger role to play in marketing in the years to come.
According to the Data and Marketing Association, when you target your customers on a 1:1 level, it increases your response rates by 50% or more. Perhaps the best example of this is direct mail. With direct mail, you’re able to bring your campaign straight to customers’ doorsteps— literally.
Ironically, in today’s hyperconnected world direct mail pieces can actually feel more urgent and personal than emails. When it comes to personalization, customers are now looking for more than just the standard “Dear [name]”. They want experiences that feel real and authentic, and it can’t get any more authentic than holding a mail piece with your own two hands.
Finally, companies are turning back to traditional marketing to support their online efforts because it builds trust and connection with their customers. 60% of customers surveyed by the Royal Mail MarketReach said that direct mail made a lasting impression, allowing customers to easily recall campaigns and businesses in the future. In the same survey, 57% of respondents said that postcard marketing made them feel more valued.
It’s clear that when you combine online marketing techniques and offline approaches like direct mail, the end result is more than the sum of its parts. As the world works towards becoming more interconnected, it’s more important than ever that companies utilize all available avenues for connecting with customers. Sharing data and linking together might soon become so ubiquitous that one day, the distinction between “online” and “offline” might not even matter.